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Warlords MC: Book 6 – Traven : Chapter 3

Her shoulders slumped and she looked defeated for a moment as if she did feel extreme disappointment. Then she looked at him and asked, “What were you doing at the camp anyway? And please answer me this time.”

Traven stared at her for a moment then decided the truth might work to get her to talk. “We were there to figure out what they were doing. They came up on our radar and we need to know more about them. So what were you doing there?” He raised a brow at her. “And this time, answer my question.”

“I was looking for someone I used to know.” She glanced away.

“Who might that be?” He frowned, as he looked her over again. There was a mystery here and he had to know what it was. He glanced at his men and noted their looks of uncertainty too.

Stepping back, she shook her head. “It doesn’t matter who it was. I’ll just be going now.”

Traven sighed. Damn, this girl is stubborn. “You can’t go anywhere yet. We need to know more about this group and I think you might be able to tell us what we need to know.”

She backed away from him. “I don’t think so. I’m sure you guys know more than I do about them. I really do have somewhere to be right now, so good luck on your search.” She turned and began walking toward the door.

Nite Stalker moved to block the door. He crossed his huge arms over his wide chest and just glared at her.

She glared back at him. “Didn’t you learn anything from earlier, Creepy? I could take more than an eye from you…you realized that right?”

Nite Stalker remained where he stood, glaring back at her.

Clearly frustrated, she then turned to glare at Traven. “You ghouls cannot keep me here! I really can’t help you. I don’t know that much about those guys. So you need to let me go!” she shouted.

No one in the room moved.

Traven watched her. He did believe she would fight them all if she had to. Curious. He’d never met a woman who acted like her.

“How did you find them in the first place?” Flint questioned. “It took us weeks to find them.”

Sighing with frustration, she turned around and walked back to the table. She took her jacket off and sat down then stared at the floor. Not saying a word.

Traven stepped over and bent down to her eye level. “Look. We are the good guys here. We…” He paused and looked around at his men. “Have been trying to stop them from committing crimes.”

Staring at him, she seemed to ponder what he said. “You sure as hell don’t look like a crime fighter.”

The men in the room snickered or chuckled.

Traven raised his head and stared them down.

They all quieted.

He looked back at her. “Looks can be deceiving.” He cocked his head at her. “For instance, an itty bitty girl like you, going into a dangerous place like that?”

Her gaze rose up to his face. “Itty bitty?” she huffed at the insult.

Again, he had to smile then went on, “Then you spitting and fighting with me, back at that camp? A man three times your size.” He chuckled then looked over at Phantom. “Why, you aren’t even scared of Phantom and most of us shake in our boots if he looks our way.”

Phantom shook his head. “Like I’m the scariest here.”

The men in the room again, chuckled.

Traven looked down at her. “So… can you try to trust us? Maybe if you explain it all, we can help each other.”

She kept studying him as if weighing his words. “It isn’t a pretty story.”

Traven nodded. “None of our stories are about rainbows and flowers, sweetness.”

A smile glimmered on her lips.

He narrowed his eyes at her. “Why is that funny?”

She chuckled. “A guy that looks like you, talking about rainbows and flowers.” She gestured at his black clothes and dark looks.

There were a few chuckles in the room.

Traven tapped her knee with one lone finger, figuring a small tap might not cause another violent reaction from her. “Let’s work together, okay?”

Sighing, she asked, “If I tell you the truth and all of it, will you let me go?”

Traven considered this proposition. “Maybe… if we think it’s safe.”

She bit at her lip then slowly looked around at the men in the room. “Well, shit. You could kill me anyway so what the hell?” She nodded then began to tell them at least part of her story, “For this, I have to tell you my background, at least the highlights. My name is Winter Snowden. I live over in Three Forks. I grew up there with my parents and my three brothers. My mom died when I was thirteen and then it was just my dad, my brothers and me. Her death was due to a home invasion when she was home by herself. Nothing was taken from the house so the police thought she interrupted the thieves. My older brothers Matt and Brady were sixteen and seventeen at the time and began spending less and less time at home. I don’t know where they were going because they weren’t going to school. When my dad found out, he went looking for them. He found them hanging around an old warehouse, there were other young kids there as well. As well as several other adults. My dad didn’t like the fact that he didn’t know anything about these men or what they were doing with all the kids, so he grabbed my brothers and left. Matt and Brady didn’t like being embarrassed like that and they let my dad know about it. Matty was seventeen at the time and Brady was sixteen, but I was only thirteen. My younger brother, Will was only nine. I think my dad knew what my older brothers were doing and he knew he couldn’t stop them but he also knew he had to protect me and Will.”

Traven and the men listened quietly.

“Matty and Brady left home after a fight with my dad a few months later. After that, my dad went out every night looking for them. He never found them, not for two years, but by then it was too late, they were old enough to be on their own and he couldn’t make them come home anymore.” She let out a sigh. “Things changed after that. Dad began staying home all the time, Will and I would go to school then we had to come home and stay inside the house. It was like we were prisoners but he never told us why. Then five years ago, there was a showdown between him and my older brothers.” Tear filled her green eyes. “They called him out. He was just getting out of his car when they gunned him down. They were so intent on getting to my dad they didn’t notice Will was with him. They left my dad dead in the driveway and one or more bullets left Will with a shattered spine. He was only eleven at the time. I was almost sixteen by then but not old enough to be on my own.” She sat for a moment and shook her head. Sadness, clear in her eyes.

“Keep going,” Traven urged her.

“Will was in so much pain and the doctors told him he’d never walk again, so they put him on suicide watch as he didn’t want to live anymore. I was put in the system and they wouldn’t tell me anything about him. When I turned eighteen, I finally found him. The damn doctors told him I didn’t want him around me anymore. They lied to him to separate us, thinking it would make it easier for both of us. It didn’t, instead it pissed me off. So I fought in the courts to get custody of my brother. I had to get a job that would pay enough to keep us going. The state took my dad’s insurance money to pay for Will’s care and it was almost gone by the time I aged out. The state couldn’t sell the house so we moved back into it. Dad’s insurance paid off the mortgage so we didn’t have that payment but I still had to earn enough to take care of Will. It was hard but I did it. When he came home, he shared a secret with me. He had become a hacker while he was laid up. Then he told me he was looking for our brothers Matty and Brady.”

Traven looked sharply at the others in the room. Then he leaned toward Winter. “Did he ever find them?” he asked urgently.

Winter nodded. “Yeah, he did.”

“Were they at the camp tonight?” Phantom spoke up.

Winter looked up at each of their faces. “Yeah, they were there tonight. They run that particular camp. They are under the Black Thorn group. They call themselves Shadow Camp but they are only part of a larger group. Just one camp.”

Phantom stared at her for a moment then looked over at Traven and Venom. She knew more about them than she realized. They hadn’t known what organization the camp was with. Whoever this Black Thorn was, they were more than a little dangerous. “How did you know what they called themselves?”

Winter shrugged. “Will told me. He’s been searching them out.”

“And just what has he found out about this group?” Venom asked.

Winter shrugged. “I never wanted to know what he found, only where I could find our brothers. They were supposed to be at that camp. So I went to find out.”

“And just what were you going to do if you had found them there tonight?” Traven wanted to know. After all, she put not only herself but them in danger too tonight. “If they had found you, what do you think they would have done?”

Winter shrugged. “Who said they would have found me?”

The men in the room all stared at her defiance.

Traven let out a sigh. Yes, this was going to be a lot harder than even he had suspected.


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